2013: Year of the Snake

Tomorrow marks the start of 2013, the Year of the Snake.

According to legend, the Chinese zodiac originated long ago with the Jade emperor.  The emperor decided there should be some way of measuring time, and so challenged the animals to a swimming race across a swift river.  The first 12 animals to complete the race would each have a year named after them.  The story says 13 animals raced, with the cat coming in last after being tricked by the rat.  The sixth animal to complete the race was the sneaky snake.

Tomorrow marks the start of 2013, the Year of the Snake.  Snake characteristics include traits such as intelligence, motivation, and influence.  In honor of the Year of the Snake, I’d like to use today’s blog post to look at the influence of snake imagery and snakeskin on the worlds of design and fashion.

Deco cast bronze ceiling mounts by Paul Marra.

Snakeskin is a very conceptual texture, something a lot of people love.  It’s not for everyone and typically works best in small doses.  Snakeskin is about confidence and bringing out your inner fangs!

Paul Marra snake lantern.

The use of snake imagery doesn’t have to be literal.  It can be incorporated into hardware or mirrors or simply suggested in shapes and lines.  Snakeskin is a dramatic choice as well.  I used this gorgeous Maya paper on the face front of interior doors in a NYC residence with really amazing results.  It’s high glamour, over-the-top chic that doesn’t scream “reptile.”

Slink™ Hand-Painted Vinyl by Maya Romanoff
Large Custom Karung Snake Skin Pillow – Lobel Modern
Gold Tone Serpentine Mirror
Snake Chain fabric in Dove from Dwell Studio
Ligne Roset Serpentine Outdoor Chair

In fashion, snakeskin is all about confidence and bringing out your inner fangs!  I sport snakeskin about once a week on my shoes or bag.  It’s a really bold pattern and I love it!

Lima by Brian Atwood – Serpentine inspired.
Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013 Runway Looks via Harper’s Bazaar
Python bag from IntermixOnline

What does the Year of the Snake have in store for you?



Snakeskin is a big texture I like to use in small doses.

Snakeskin is a big texture I love to use.  It’s not something to use in abundance, but in small doses snakeskin is very chic and trendy.  It definitely creates a look!  And with all this faux stuff available, snakeskin texture isn’t limited to belts and boots.  For accessories and accents, snakeskin gives a modern, edgy look.  You can find it in a variety of colors and patterns, but one thing all snakeskin has in common is a rich feel that people can’t help but want to touch.

Jimmy Choo Irena Shoe – My every day go to shoe!
Snakeskin sunglasses from Lanvin.


Python belt by Lara Bohinc.
Yves Saint Laurent snakeskin cuff.

The same approach to using snakeskin in fashion applies to interior design.  A little goes a log way and packs a big punch. Snakeskin isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great textile and medium to bring out a bit of daring — very graphic and sexy.

Boa vinyl wall covering from Osborne & Little
Snakeskin lamp by Robin Brooks NY
Two’s Company Ottoman
Living room with snake skin accents. Photo by Eric Roth.
Ashley Stark’s Entry – Vintage snakeskin bench.